What is Hardware Asset Management and Software Asset Management?
Every company has an IT estate made up of a mixture of hardware and software which must be managed. Asset management is the process of monitoring, tracking, and managing the IT estate in an organisation. In IT, this is the hardware and software that are used by employees regularly.
Hardware Asset Management (HAM)
Hardware asset management refers to the accurate tracking and monitoring of any IT hardware owned by the business. IT hardware is end-user equipment and can include:
- Computers, laptops, monitors and towers
- Docking stations, keyboards, mouses, webcams and microphones
- HDMI cables, USB cables, USB sticks
- Servers, routers, video-conferencing equipment, data loaders
Each piece of equipment goes through the HAM lifecycle, from purchasing new hardware, preparing it for use and deploying it to the end-user, and then managing it through its use with necessary upgrades. Eventually it will be retired, or disposed of as new equipment is bought.
Maintaining all these hardware assets can be a time-consuming task, but is necessary to ensure the company does not accidentally make duplicate purchases, prevents loss and theft, and makes upgrading and running IT support easier.
Software Asset Management (SAM)
On the other hand, software asset management refers to the maintenance and management of the many software systems a company relies on to perform. Managing multiple softwares is commonplace at work in the 21st century, from HR to customer management systems – there is software for everything.
When running SAM, all relevant licences are tracked and managed to ensure the company is compliant when using the software. Large organisations may need to purchase extra licences to give all their employees access to it, and there can be costly fines applied if a business is discovered to be using software illegally.
Therefore, both HAM and SAM are essential for saving a company time and money.
How are HAM and SAM Relevant to Accountants?
An essential part of the accountancy of a business is managing the valuation of all the assets owned by the company. This includes the entire IT estate, from data centres and communication rooms right down to the in-house software systems necessary to the daily operations of the organisation. Many companies inaccurately declare this value because the IT estate is not correctly managed. It can change the valuation by thousands as IT equipment can be so costly.
As the IT hardware moves through its lifecycle process, it will depreciate in value. Every time new equipment is purchased, or a new type of software is brought in, the valuation of the IT estate will change. That means regular IT auditing, and asset management must take place to ensure the business valuation remains correct.
Accurate asset management is also a vital part of GDPR, which requires companies to ensure they aren’t holding onto any data they shouldn’t be, and can cause hefty fines if a company is found to have a GDPR data breach.
What Can Capital Offer?
Capital are experts at hardware and software asset management. Our National Service Teams can work all over the UK, being deployed to act as a third-party team to handle any HAM or SAM needs. As these jobs are so vital to ensuring a business is valued correctly, and helps to reduce downtime, it can be more cost-effective to bring in a team of experts instead of using the in-house IT team. That way they can stay focused on keeping equipment online, while Capital takes care of the asset management in the background.
Using Audit Aid our teams can support any business, no matter how large or small, in creating a live database of all software and hardware assets, giving greater control over your IT estate. That means you can find out exactly where each piece of equipment is, who is using it, and understand if it needs any upcoming maintenance or upgrades. For software, you can ensure all the relevant licences are there, and the company is being compliant.
We have a range of hardware and software asset management services available, from a one-off deep dive into the entire IT estate, or a simple health check into your Microsoft 365 software. Alternatively, if you’d like regularly scheduled HAM or SAM, our teams can incorporate this into their schedule and ensure you’re keeping on top of any asset management needs.
Contact Capital for a friendly and professional chat to find out how we can support you with your asset management requirements.